Message from Father Langan

May 28-29

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

     We all have longings, even our Lord.  In today’s Gospel He offers the priestly prayer that expresses His longing for unity among His disciples and ultimately for the Church.  The greatest scandal among Christians today is the disunity based upon personal opinion and not on the  revealed Truth that comes to us from the Holy Spirit.  The Catholic Church is the guarantor of revealed Truth as Our Lord had entrusted to Peter and the Apostles.  That Truth has been safeguarded throughout the centuries and innumerable followers of Christ have died rather than compromise on the Truth as is evidenced in St. Stephen’s martyrdom in the First Reading.

   The evil one is relentless in trying to sow disunity and chaos.  Starting with Adam and Eve, on to Cain and Abel and throughout the history of humankind he never ceases to divide and those divisions wreck families, communities, nations, and civilizations.  Why do we let him have the upper hand?  It makes no sense, completely illogical.  Christ is the one Who first of all restores our unity with our Heavenly Father.  Just think of the Lord’s Prayer: Our (communal) Father, hallowed be Thy Name (how? by our living as brothers and sisters) Thy Kingdom come (not separate kingdoms-only one), Thy Will be done (not yours, mine, his or hers) on earth as it is in Heaven.  Throughout this prayer we pray “us” and “our”.  It should remind us how important unity is in the mind of God.

    Unity in Truth then is the very nature of what it means to be a disciple of Christ.  From the earliest days of the Church, it was necessary to correct those who had veered from the Truth with the longing to bring them back into the fold.  Just as in the rite of Baptism one is called to renounce satan and all his works and all his empty promises so too there needs to be sincere and honest repentance before one can be in union with the faithful.  There is no room for arrogant individualism in the Body of Christ.  As we contemplate the mystical and penultimate Priestly Prayer of Christ in the Upper Room let us pray for those who have gone astray to humbly return to the Lord and His eternal Truth, the Truth that sets them free.

     Our congratulations to the children who this week made their First Holy Communion.  May they grow daily in the love of God and reverence of His greatest gift to us in the Holy Eucharist.  And let us remember those who next Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, who will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.  May they mature as loyal disciples and faithful witnesses of Christ.

   As our Faith Formation program has come to an end for the summer, I would like to thank our very devoted and excellent catechists and director and assistants.   Their love and care for the children of the parish is absolutely essential in building up the faith in our area. May God bless them abundantly

    Following all our Masses we will be praying the Novena to the Holy Spirit.

WIth Blessings,

Father Langan

Help Wanted – Sacristan

Help Wanted – Sacristan who will be responsible for the preparation for the weekend Masses in St. John the Evangelist and St. Mary Magdalen.  The average  time commitment is 12 hours per weekend.  He/She must be a registered, practicing member of the parish; fully initiated member of the Catholic faith; understanding of the knowledge of the Catholic faith and liturgy.  Please contact the Parish Office if interested.

Ascension Thursday, May 26

This Thursday, May 26 is Ascension Thursday and it is a Holy Day of Obligation. Mass schedule is as follows:

Vigil (5/25) St. Mary Magdalen Church – 6:00 P.M.

7:25 A.M. St. Mary Magdalen Church

12:05 P.M. St. Mary Magdalen Church

5:30 P.M. St. Joseph Church, Rileyville

6:00 P.M. St. Bernard Church, Beach Lake

Message from Father Langan, May 21-22

May 21-22

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The days of Eastertide are coming to a close and this week we celebrate the return of our Lord to our Heavenly Father, the Solemnity of the Ascension (Thursday May 26th).   It is a Holy Day of Obligation so kindly refer to the Mass schedule.  The return of the Lord in glory was a bittersweet event in the lives of the Apostles and disciples but absolutely necessary if they were to mature in their faith and become instruments of God’s continued presence in the world.  Our Lord’s plan is to continue His saving work through the ministry of the Church, which has sole authority over the preaching of the Word and the celebration of the Sacraments.   This is how He remains with us today.

In today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we see how the Holy Spirit operates in the deliberation of the Apostles at the Church’s first Council in Jerusalem.  What began then and continues to our present time is the assurance of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, as the fathers of the Church must address issues that are pertinent in our time.  This does not mean that the Church follows the prevailing trends and fads of the time but rather instructs and guides the present age by the immutable Truth handed down by our Lord to the Apostles and their successors.  The Church therefore is the beacon of Light and Truth that the world must follow lest it bring on its own demise.

The shepherds of the Church realize that not all ascent to the teachings of the Faith.  We need only look to the Old Testament to see how the prophets constantly had to warn the people to turn back to God and live according to His Commandments.  The same is true today.  Therefore, we ask the Lord to give us courage to strengthen our resolve to employ the prophetic spirit we all share by virtue of our Baptism and Confirmation.  At the 10:30 Mass this Sunday our 7th grade Confirmation candidates will publicly declare their commitment to prepare diligently for the reception of the Sacrament next year at Pentecost.  May we assist them with our prayers and encouragement to be steadfast in their desire to receive the Seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit and live the Christian Faith to the fullest.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, May 14-15

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As the Easter season swiftly moves forward to the Ascension (just 10 days away) we are once again transported to the Upper Room.  There the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of Eternal Life, begins, as well as the Holy Priesthood which continues sacramentally the saving work of our Redeemer.  Through these we receive the love of Christ Himself and therefore He gives the New Commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you”.  There is an inseparable bond between these three sacred words and actions of our Lord.  These are presented in the context of His Farewell Discourse.  He is preparing the disciples for His physical departure from them and so with all farewells there is the element of sadness and fear. 

No doubt the disciples wondered, “How will we get along without Him?”  In time they will come to realize that He is not really gone from their midst but rather present in a new way.  St. Luke’s account of the Acts of the Apostles is the story of our Lord’s presence now working through the preaching and acts of the Twelve and those who are empowered by them.  In a sense, the Acts of the Apostles continues to this day.  The work of Christ our Head proceeds in the Church until that day, as we see in the Book of Revelation; the New Jerusalem unites Heaven and Earth.

With great joy we will be celebrating that particular love of Christ with His little lambs who will be receiving their First Holy Communion this coming Saturday, May 21st at St John’s, and also those 8th graders who will be filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, June 5th.   Please remember them in your prayers as they make their final preparations for these most important days in their lives.

Let the Easter Alleluias ring out to God!

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan – May 7-8

May 7-8

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today is Good Shepherd Sunday.  Our Lord described Himself as the good Shepherd Who has laid down His life for His sheep.  For the early followers of Christ this was their favorite image as catacomb paintings show.  Each of us is the sheep, wounded and lost, but picked up and carried on the shoulders of the Lord.  The tender mercy that comes from the Good Shepherd extends not only to our waywardness but also He gives us the sustenance we need to journey through life, most especially in the Holy Eucharist.  Though I rarely go on Facebook,  and only to view our streaming of Masses, I frequently see the posting “no priests no Eucharist”  How true it is!  As we contemplate Jesus as the Good Shepherd we remember what He said,” …the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the Master to send out laborers for his harvest” (Lk 10:2).

Today is also World Day of Prayer for Vocations especially to the Priesthood.  Our Lord wants above all to continue through His priests His saving presence and blessed assurance that He has not abandoned the flock.  As in all things with Our Lord, He asks for our cooperation.  The flock, therefore, has to ask the Master to raise up from our midst those men who will dedicate themselves to continuing the mission of Christ for the salvation of souls.  Proposing, encouraging and praying for young men to be courageous in answering the Call is the duty of all faithful Catholics.  Not all will respond enthusiastically but seeds will be sown and God will do the reaping as long as we cooperate.

Priests do not fall from trees, though some may think we do.  Their vocations are fostered for the most part within the beauty of family life.  It is there that a possible vocation germinates.  Faith, mutual respect, self-sacrificing service to each member are the necessary attributes for a vocation to priesthood to take root.  A father teaches a son how to be a man in a world that has become so terribly confused and mixed-up.  A mother demonstrates how to be caring and tender and how very grateful we are to our mother’s as we especially honor them on this day.

Pope St Pius the X (1835-1914) recalls the importance of his mother in his vocation.  He was a very humble man who had a saintly mother, Margarita Sanson.  Because they were so poor, she worked as a washer woman and a school janitor to earn enough money so her son could go to seminary. When he was installed as Pope, his mother was present, and as was the custom, she kissed his large papal ring.  She then presents her tiny hand with her wedding ring and said, “Now you kiss my ring–for without it, you never would have received yours!”

Thank you mothers, a blessed day to all!

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan

April 23-24

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are now in the Great 50 Days of Eastertide and today has been specifically designated as Divine Mercy Sunday by the late Pope St. John Paul II.  From now until Pentecost, we ponder the glory of our Lord’s Resurrection from the dead and the profound effect it has had and still has on all of humanity.  Though many still do not accept the Truth, that Jesus conquered sin and death nonetheless we joyfully proclaim and live this reality.  We have to ask ourselves.” Does my life give witness to the greatest event that has taken place in the history of the world?”

As we consider the lives of those who originally encountered the Risen Christ, we can certainly put ourselves in their shoes (sorry sandals).  On Easter Sunday morning, the Gospel did not say anything about Peter or John or Mary Magdalen seeing the Lord.  Their experience was first the Empty Tomb.  That surely left an emptiness in their lives.  They didn’t know what to make of it.  Only as the day went on and Our Lord revealed Himself to them were they able to grasp the mystery and ultimately the purpose of our Lord’s coming into our midst as one of us.

Our lives are the same.  We approach life with an emptiness at times looking for something or someone to fill the void.  Often we think, mistakenly, that the void can be filled with the things of this world.  How quickly we discover that is a futile pursuit.  Only Christ Risen can fill and satisfy with the joy and happiness that knows no end.  The Apostles and disciples came to realize that and so should we.  The words of our Savior to Mary Magdalen and the other women and to the Apostles carry a weight that needs our meditation: ” Be not afraid.”

If we are not afraid then we must be bold in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ to all we meet.  After all it is not human beings that will judge us at the end of our lives, but Christ Himself and how shall we respond when He asks us:” How have you made Me known to the world?”

We believe that He indeed is risen.  Let the world know it.

Blessings of Easter joy,

Father Langan

Easter Message from Father Langan

April 17, 2022

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ is Risen! Alleluia!

This acclamation has made all the difference in the course of human history.  Even though many today do not believe in the Lord’s rising from the dead, this act of God is the turning point for every person, past, present, and future, on the face of the earth.  As believers we know that this life is merely a preparation for wondrous things to come and it is our hope and prayer that we always give evidence of this truth in the manner in which we live.  Our belief in the Lord’s Resurrection gives testimony that we too shall abide with God forever.  First, however, we must pass through the trials and difficulties that come our way.  We have heeded and accepted Our Lord’s invitation to: “take up our cross and follow Him.”  And because we have the glorious crown of eternal life awaits us.

Because of our belief we need to be ever joyful in the anticipation of what awaits us.  Those who get bogged down in the disappointments and sorrows of this life easily lose sight of the life to come.  Restless hearts go after things in this world that will never give permanent happiness.  In their errant pursuits they fall into many perils and misery.  If only they would find joy in the promises that Jesus Christ has brought.  His Resurrection is proof that joy may be embraced here and now.

Let us therefore proclaim with exhilaration that Jesus Christ is risen indeed, and that sin and death no longer have power over us.

A Blessed Easter,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan – Palm Sunday

April 9-10

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Hosanna to the Son of David: “Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord!”

Today commemorates our Divine Savior’s entrance into the Holy City of Jerusalem and the inauguration of our Heavenly Father’s plan for our salvation.  These days of Holy Week are an intense re-presentation of Christ’s saving work.  By prayer and ritual, we are invited to participate intimately in the work of our redemption.

Palm/Passion Sunday, Mother Church places branches in our hands, blessed palms, that we might honor Our Lord and King as we pledge loyalty and fidelity to Him.  We are very much aware of our fellow Christians throughout the world, most especially Ukraine, who suffer and are persecuted for their Faith.  We stand in solidarity with them and offer our fraternal love and support as we pray for peace.

On Holy Tuesday, Bishop Bambera summons his priests to join in the Mass of Holy Chrism as the three Sacred Oils are consecrated:  Oil of Catechumens for the catechumens who will be Baptized;  Oil of the Infirm for the sick; and the Oil of Chrism for Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders.  The Mass will be at 4:00 PM in St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Faithful are encouraged to participate.  Also at this Mass, the priests renew their priestly vows and call upon their parishioners to assist them with their prayers.

The Passion of Our Lord dominates the Sacred Triduum (Three Days).  We begin with Morning Prayer (Lauds) on Holy Thursday Morning beginning at 7:25 AM in St Mary Magdalen.  Holy Thursday evening at 7:00 PM in St John’s we commemorate the Lord’s Last Supper wherein He institutes the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (the First Mass); the Holy Priesthood; and the giving of the Mandatum– the new Commandment: “love one another as I have loved you.”

Following the Mass there will be a procession to the repository in St Mary Magdalen with the Holy Eucharist for Adoration until 11:00 PM.

Good Friday begins with Morning Prayer at 7:25 PM (SMM).  The Way of the Cross (Stations) at 9:00 AM (SMM) followed by the blessing of the relic of the True Cross on which Our Savior died.

The main celebration of the Passion is at Noon in St. John’s.  We go in heart and mind to Calvary where we have been cleansed in the Blood of the Lamb.

At 3:00 PM we begin the Novena  and Chaplet of Divine Mercy which culminates on the Octave of Easter,  Divine Mercy Sunday.

 Good Friday evening at 7:00 PM in St John’s, we chant in Hebrew, Latin and English the most ancient and hauntingly beautiful dirges of the burial of Christ in the Office of Tenebrae.

On Holy Saturday, Morning Prayer will be offered at 7:25 AM (SMM).  Blessing of Easter Baskets will take place at 10:00 AM in the courtyard of ST Mary Magdalen.  You may set your baskets on the porch.  Confessions will follow.

We prayerfully prepare for the Great and Glorious Vigil of Easter at 8:00 PM in St. John’s.  During this Night-of-Nights, we recall the history of our salvation and renew all things in Christ Who has conquered sin and death.  This year we will welcome two new members into the Mystical Body of Christ, Christine and Leeann.  May they always find joy and peace in our family of faith.

Because there is no 4:00 PM Mass at St. Bernard’s there will be an Easter Sunday morning Mass there at 8:30 AM.  The following schedule is:  7:30 AM @ St. Mary Magdalen; 8:30 AM @ St. Bernard;  9:00 AM @ St. Joseph; and 10:30 AM @ St. John.

These are the days most important in the spiritual lives of each and every one of us in the Family of Faith.  May we avail ourselves to the abundant graces our Blessed Lord wishes to bestow on us.

With Blessings,

Father Langan